I love Bob. He is an old Cotswold ram that I just got at the end of fall. I have been looking for a new Cotswold ram for some time, since I lost Walter. What is it with these guys? Bob is gentle, inquisitive, halter trained and very easy to handle. I trimmed his feet when he arrived, but he had been recently shorn. That was not a good thing.
Where he came from winter is much milder than here, plus he had a nice warm barn in which to curl up. This was a very hard lesson for me. Something I just had no occasion to consider before, is where the sheep come from. Bob was old, but he was healthy and heavy and doing just great, that is until it got cold and it really, really got cold. Then he wanted to stay in the mini barn, which is really a double tarped small hoop house, but when the Cotswolds are together in it, it is plenty warm enough. Only the girls were mostly born here and they did not feel much need to go inside. Poor Bob was on his own there. And he was cold. He should not have been shorn prior to winter's arrival.
So, I have sadly watched his demise, helplessly and with great sadness. I tried alfalfa pellets, barley and oats and then some wheat. He took a few nibbles and was simply not interested. I started feeding him hay in the shelter so he would not have to face the winter, but he continued to go downhill fast.
Bob is a mere shadow of the former ram that arrived here in the fall. He is so weak, he is having trouble walking and it will only be a matter of days before he is not here, before I no longer see that curled up nose and those big, sweet and gentle eyes. I can only hope that he did breed at least some of the girls and will leave me his legacy that way. He, indeed, is the sweetest ram I have ever known. Walter was a close second right behind him and when he was dying, I held his big head in my lap and loved him. That is all I can do for Bob.
Bob had a shot of antibiotics and was dewormed, in case. He has had several shots of Newcells, a vitamin complex that boosts energy and vitality and he also has had apple cider vinegar and fermented garlic honey. I was trying anything and everything I could think of, all to no avail. Bob cost me $!00 dollars. His value to me was immense, but in reality, taking him to the veterinarian was not a good economic decision. I spent $1200 on Walter, my first Cotswold ram, trying to get him to live, but he just did not make it. That was more money than I should have spent on one animal. I would love to ensure Bob's survival, however; given his age and circumstances, I cannot. I must learn to let go, to make a better decision as a farmer, not as a pet owner and allow him to let go too. I have loved Bob since he arrived and am so very sad to think he will not be here. My heart is breaking. My Bob....
Bob has improved over the past few days and though he is dangerously thin, he may make it. I moved him over to the goats since I moved the breeding groups today. There are two other young rams in with the goats, so he is not the only sheep. The goat barn is warmer than the other barns IF there are any animals in it besides one. I gave him some lovely green hay and he did nibble away at it. My fingers are crossed.